Master of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering (MSBAE)


Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Document Type



The unique properties of noble metal nanoparticles, which include tunable electronic and photonic characteristics, contribute to their potential as novel delivery vectors with enhanced drug stability, cell uptake, and photo-activated functionalities. Silver, as one of best surface-enhancing substrates available for bulk nanostructure synthesis, is a prime choice for investigations of metal nanohybrids as antisense therapy vehicles with special surface plasmon resonance (SPR) enabled functional attributes. The singular photonic properties of silver nanoparticles (SNPs) may contribute to ease of delivery confirmation and in situ photo-activation of protected cargo packed on particle surfaces. Here we show the synthesis and characterization of 40-80nm SNPs designed for enhanced antisense oligonucleotide delivery and photo-activated gene silencing. Non-active (caged) SNP-bound DNA oligonucleotides possess an internal nitrobenzyl photocleavable linker which once exposed to light, initiates disengagement of functional antisense oligonucleotides from the nanohybrid surface. We demonstrate light-triggered, spatiotemporally controlled gene silencing based on SNP-antisense conjugates, which prove to be promising alternative platforms for gene therapy, gene expression studies, and other nanomedicine applications.



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Committee Chair

Monroe, William T.



Included in

Engineering Commons